Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Friday, February 26, 2021
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HPE Rolls Out ‘Micro’ Datacenter 

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The evolution of Hewlett Packard Enterprise as an infrastructure software vendor advanced this week with the release of a "micro datacenter" offering that targets exponential data growth and the rise of hybrid cloud adoption.

HPE (NYSE: HPE) said Monday (Dec. 5) that its converged IT and "facilities" platform combines management control with datacenter computing, storage and networking with an eye toward distributed applications and other IT functions. It also features "edge computing" designed to move processing power closer to soaring data volumes, a capability it claims customers are clamoring for.

The modular "micro" datacenter also underscores HPE's growing emphasis on system software and, specifically, software-defined infrastructure. Despite the spinoff of a large chunk of its application and other software businesses in September, HPE Meg Whitman has noted that the company retains "the ability to process on compute, storage and networking at the edge."

The "micro" datacenter platform along with other recent product roll outs appear to be among the early efforts to implement Whitman's strategy of becoming more a agile competitor as IT infrastructure evolves to handle more complex, data-intensive workloads. In particular, the company is battling the new Dell Technologies formed earlier this year through the merger of Dell and storage giant EMC Corp.

HPE's twist on the growing demand for datacenter resources focuses on what it describes as "localized content delivery and data analytics," which the company argues is creating an IT requirement for more computing resources within datacenters and at distributed locations.

Hence, the micro datacenter approach is pitched as a way to meet those requirements since they can be quickly spun up and managed remotely.

The modular approach integrates datacenter infrastructure management with the company's IT infrastructure manager called OneView designed to provide an operator interface to distributed IT and datacenter facilities. The company released version OneView 3.0 in June with the goal of providing software-defined tools for managing HPE ProLiant and BladeSystem servers along with its 3Par storage platform. The management interface also integrates with the HPE Helion cloud tool used to provision physical servers or virtualization clusters.

The converged datacenter platform comes with pre-configured architectures, but also supports custom configurations based on individual requirements.

HPE said its micro datacenter is available now. Pricing varies depending on a specific configuration, but the company said it also is offering a pays-as-go "flexible capacity" option that allows the users to scale hybrid infrastructure up or down.

Ultimately, the company said it seeks to deliver more computing resources "where the work is done, but with enterprise data center characteristics," Richard Einhorn, HPE's vice president for datacenter consulting, noted in a statement announcing the micro datacenter package.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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